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Interview 36

Brief Outline: Husband looked after her at home for several years. Medication upset her causing her to see colours when she closed her eyes. When things got too difficult was moved into residential care. Husband visits everyday.
Background: Elderly husband caring for his wife at home for many years, now in a nursing home. They have 2 sons. Patient used to work for BT.

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Found it necessary to use threats to get equipment his wife urgently needed.

Found it necessary to use threats to get equipment his wife urgently needed.

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I had to go in to the hospital yesterday to see somebody from the General because just sitting on an ordinary chair, well you know not a like an armchair but an ordinary chair, taking she's had two operations on her hip and she'll keep pushing herself up. Well in the last week she's had some like inflatable things put round her leg, her foot because she'll keep pushing herself up because she can't get comfortable because I think they're blistering. And I got myself annoyed about that, not at the nurses, no way because they were, they are great, but the fact that she's been going to have this chair. I offered to buy it. I offered to pay for her one. And because they were £1,000 but they said there was no need, they should, they're getting one for her.

And so I got, I told the manager, that's what they call them now, I don't think it's sister, I told the manager, because she's a lovely lass, I call her [name]. I had her on the, I says 'Look [name] I want you to get in touch with somebody,' I says 'because I've got a complaint.' She says 'What's that?' I says 'This chair.' 'Oh,' she says 'I know, I know.' I says 'Well look at her, she's got these blisters on her feet, or whatever they are,' I says 'if they burst and she gets any infection and the media today have been telling about a lot of infection that's going around in these hospitals,' I says 'I'll take the NHS for everything they've got.' I says 'If she doesn't get a chair.' That was last Friday.

And yesterday there was somebody from the hospital came and she apologised. She's the one that orders all these things and she'd never been, there was a physiotherapist, sociologist I think you call them, somebody else, there was about four people suggested she should have this seat, proper seat. It's never got to her, so she tells me. And I think I tend to believe her. But I went there with me boxing gloves because I thought I was gonna have to fight them yesterday. And she was full of apologies.

And they're trying to get her a, they've got to get measured for these chairs apparently. And they're gonna try and hire one, well they're gonna try and hire two because there's somebody else in there in the same position. So, and get them measured up and they'll get them ordered and they're gonna get them. She said, I says 'I, I hope it's done quick.' She says 'Well I cannot say it'll be done this week.' I says 'I realise that, I'll give you a month.' So if she hasn't got it in a month, there'll be another outburst.

 

The only time his wife wet the bed was when he failed to wake up to take her to the lavatory.

The only time his wife wet the bed was when he failed to wake up to take her to the lavatory.

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Now a lot of people say they get incontinent. Well [my wife] never got incontinent, not at home. There was a reason for that in my opinion because when, when I woke up I took her you know, I took her to the toilet and I'd take her to the toilet every so often. So whether it was that, I don't know but she was never, I'm telling you all this, I don't know whether you want to know it.

But occasionally there was only about two or three times during the night when I'd been dog-tired, I must have been, she's got up and went to the toilet and came back to bed and I have never known, you see. Bless her heart, you know. She never cleaned herself, well I'd just have to take the sheets off and wash them. Two or three times, that's all it was, so I never had any trouble that way.

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